Archive | June, 2011

Garden treasure (and monster)

29 Jun

Here is a picture I put together, based on real events in the not so distant past… slugs are not my favourite creatures in the garden, but worse still if they surprise me elsewhere.

When constructing this illustration (a mix of collage and pen), I especially enjoyed working on pale grey paper rather than a white page- it makes the colours stand out very well, and also allows for an interesting use of white (the surprise slug, for example).

So, back to the garden – this evening we dug up the first potato plant to reveal a treasure trove of brand new tatties! I love the splashes of pink on these, and the teeny tiny button-potatoes still forming on the roots.

Evening gardening after a day at work is so refreshing – to dig, pot, water and harvest as the sun goes down and then indoors for a cup of camomile – lovely! So far we haven’t lost too many plants to the slugs (perhaps they are full up on other things…), and eagerly await the beans and tomatoes.

I recently discovered Folly For A Flyover, a pop-up cinema and performance space with a difference – in that it located underneath a motorway! In the words of the project:

‘On 24th June, a building will appear in the gap between the east and westbound traffic of the A12. Transforming the cavernous undercroft where the motorway crosses the Lea Navigation Canal, Folly for a Flyover will host a six week programme of waterside cinema, performance and play. Hand-built with local, reclaimed and donated materials, the Folly draws influence from the surrounding red-brick buildings of Hackney Wick, posing as an imaginary piece of the area’s past, a building trapped under the motorway.”

The project and events are taking place right now and for the next few weeks – what a great idea! Visit their website to see pictures of the construction process and find out more about what’s happening when.

Coming next – an illustration which I’m colouring and tweaking at the moment – “Alan and his bicycle”.

PS – I still have Butternut Squash plants in need of homes (in Cardiff) – comment if you’re interested!

Blackstock’s Collection: The Drawings of an Artistic Savant (I wish there was wallpaper like this)

24 Jun

I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks. My veg garden is being very demanding : the potatos look like a small forest, bean plants more like beanstalks and an onslaught of over 50 pumpkin/squash hybrids sprung unannounced from the compost heap. I now have 4 glorious days off work to get some stuff done. Including visiting the Cardiff School of Art and Design degree show (last day today), research for forthcoming workshops, making stuff, drawing, digging and resting.

Book for today: Blackstock’s Collections: the drawings of an Artistic Sauvant.

Blackstock is autistic and an artistic savant. He creates visual lists of everything from wasps to hats to emergency vehicles to noisemakers. “Blackstock’s Collections” contains over 100 extraordinary examples of his splendidly original taxonomy, offering a unique look inside the mind of a man making sense of life through art. He has simplified the subtle differences between ‘families’ of objects and animals. I would love this as wallpaper, or pages pasted up randomly around my house so I could absorb these facts so cleverly drawn.

Check it OUT – click on the book’s front cover to visit Amazon.

I have a few things to post up (and hopefully more bits I’ll make and draw over the long weekend). Breakfast now!

Bicycles & Alphabets

12 Jun

In a week’s time National Bike week will begin! One and all, let’s take to two wheels and celebrate cycling…

I recently took part in Cardiff’s first PaperGirl project, which involves distributing art at random by bicycle.  Last Friday all submissions were exhibited at the fabulous Printhaus. Collage faces were placed next to lino-prints, next to brief but funny doodles and delicate design. My favourite was a child-like drawing, which showed a farmer yelling from his tractor, ‘Gerr of my land!’ as he headed off to haymake. It was ace to see my piece as part of this dynamic project.

On Saturday 18 June, the submissions will be rolled up and distributed by cyclists all over Cardiff! Keep an eye out if you fancy a creative surprise, and there’s still time to get involved and cycle. CLICK HERE to visit the PaperGirl blog


I’ve been harvesting inspiration and doing doodles in preparation for the animation that Matt & I are working on. I don’t want to say too much yet, but that it’s set in a vegetable garden. I’m keen to have printed type and text as a mechanism for telling the story, so this evening we put ‘typography’ into the Vimeo search box.

Here’s what we found:

and this:

Can’t wait to get making now!

In those trousers?

4 Jun

This is the first of several illustrations drawn for new company Graduly, who are launching next week. The artwork brief was ‘dressing appropriately for interviews’ – and I wanted to play on the idea that not all jobs require you to be suited and booted to the max. Like the circus, for example (and arts jobs generally)!